Acrylic, Gel, Stick On Nails, Nail Polish/Care

My experience with Gel & Acrlic Nails

It occurred to me whilst writing my blog post on getting your nails back into good condition after gel nails that I have never shared my experience with gel and acrylic nails on my blog before. A few people asked me if I recommend them. Here are my thoughts…

The first time I got my nails done I went for acrylic tips. I had them done in the Nail and Beauty Bar in Clarehall shopping centre. It took an hour and a half and I pretty much hated them. I hated the feel of them but most of all I hated the shape. They resembled something like this…

Do you see the ‘shovel’ effect. I think this shape made my hands look stubby and for some reason they gave the impression that I was ‘high maintenance’ – a little Snooki from Jersey Shore. I felt like I should have an orange tan to go with them. As soon as I got home I filed the sides of them down so they looked like they belong on my hands. I would honestly rather have scutty nails than this shape.

I had them removed after a month since I wasn’t happy to pay €30 to have them refilled every 3 weeks  and have them look like shovels. My nails then crumbled into oblivion after the technician soaked and filed the overlays off until I was close to bare fingers.

About six months later I was going on holiday and my nails were disgraceful so I opted for acrylics once again but this time I tried a Slender Health Beauty salon in Raheny. I explained to the technician that I hated my nails the first time I had them done. She promised that she would keep them the shape that my own nails grow naturally. I paid €65 for them but they were worth it! (I think most salons do the for about €50 now) They looked beautiful and natural. I went on holiday and enjoyed my perfect nails. They looked similar to this picture…

Again, the upkeep was too much. Although I didn’t really want part with the €30 for refills every few weeks, I just didn’t have an hour to spare to have them done. I’m not one for pampering, I don’t enjoy sitting in salons, I get too bored and an hour feels like a week!

After the removal this time I started a 4 step plan to keep stop my nails flaking and crumbling away (How to get your nails back into good condition after overlays).

I also tried gels at another stage and found the same problems after removal. They also break easier than acrylics.

So do I recommend them?

They look gorgeous if applied and shaped well but they are very high maintenance. They are great for going on holiday or over Christmas and the New Year. But you have to be prepared for the nail crumbling afterwards. If you don’t look after your nails well after removal they will be in a much worse state then when you started.

What do you think?

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  • Aoife Oneill

    who won stereo rose? xxxxxxxxxx

    • Amy

      Haven’t announce it yet Aoife. It will appear as an update on the bottom of the stereo rose post

  • Bianca

    I used to do gel nails myself. In my experience, what the nails look like after removal depends greatly on how well the nails and the removal were done. Unfortunately, there are a lot of crap places around. I used to have gel nails myself for a couple of years, then I wanted to learn an instrument and took them off because you need short nails for that. I never looked back. I also find that coloured polish looks so much more refined on short nails. If I have a special occasion coming up, like a birthday party or a wedding….or sometimes just for a fun night out, I use press on nails. They look fab and are easy to remove when you’ve had enough of them.

  • BackToBlonde

    I’m loving 3 week manicures at the moment. They’re not gel nails but they use gel nail varnish. It’s encouraged the growth of my nails and they’ve bern in good condition after the varnish is removed, maybe a little weaker than I’d like, but not discoloured brittle or flaky. It also means I’ve not had a snagged chipped or broken nail in months!! Happiness is :) I don’t know if I’m allowed to say which brand they use on my nails but I don know that they are not all the same. Another brand leaves your nails yellowed and oxygen starved, but mine acts like fertiliser! If any of you are trying to grow your nails or have a big event coming up, I can’t recommend it enough.

  • Amina (innerbelle)

    i used to get acrylics done on the regs too but i dunno why i be honest, your right they damage your natural nails, ever since i stopped a few years back my nails seem better off, they grow strong and much faster, and i can paint em wateva i want and change em wenever i want without the hefty price tag – tho i do really want to try the new type out at the moment, no idea what they are called but they build the nail extensions over the tips of your alredy slighty grown nails, know what i mean?

  • Leona

    I have had the same experience with gel and acrylic nails. Lately I have tried the shellac gel nail varnish (lasts for two weeks, chip free) and it was excellent! Looked great, lasted nearly three weeks and no damage to my nails- success! will defo be getting them done again :)

  • robyn


    I love having my nails done. I have a horrible habit of picking at my nails and skin around them and they look horrible to be nice. Its a sickness, I know :) I recently went on a stint with sculpted nails. I have always admired my dean’s nails and I asked her where she got them done. I immediatly called the girl and booked an appointment but had to wait 4 long weeks b/c she was that in demand and booked. I got them done and loved them. She did them shorter and shaped them beautifuly. My hands had never looked better….then she started charging me more b/c i didn’t have to go every couple weeks to get them filled in-i could wait almost 4 weeks. When she said that it put me off so I just made the decision to stop getting them done and it was very costly-$30 for a fill in and $40 for a 2 tone. My nails were a MESS when I took the fake ones off….but it was worth it. Now if I can’t stand it and I just want my hands to look pretty or I have an event I put on falsies from the drugstore. I stick with the french manicure ones and I get tons of compliments on them :)

  • Samantha

    I was thinking of spending some money on acrlics but I dont think I will now. Wouldn’t like the upkeep at all. it’ll cost me a fortune too!!
    Thanks for sharing :-)

  • Ambitious Beauty

    I loved this :) Reading it in Starbucks with my cappuccino, heaven!! Have a great day xxxx

  • JILL Marren

    Brilliant post Amy!!!

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